October 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 291

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October 18, 2021

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Visa Waiver Travelers Now Have Another Option if They Cannot Leave on Time

On March 30, 2020, we wrote about “satisfactory departure” in COVID-19:  How Does the Outbreak Affect Visa Waiver (ESTA) Travelers?  As we explained, visitors to the US who arrive under the Visa Waiver program who cannot depart within 90 days due to the pandemic may request a 30-day “satisfactory departure” period from US Customs & Border Protection by email.

On April 13, 2020, US Citizenship & Immigration Services announced it would begin taking requests for satisfactory departure by phone while its local field offices remain closed during COVID-19.  Visa Waiver travelers who wish to use this option should call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.  USCIS has also said it can grant a second 30-day period of satisfactory departure if circumstances warrant.

US Customs & Border Protection also continues to grant satisfactory departure, as we reported on March 30.

Receiving satisfactory departure, whether it is granted by CBP or by USCIS, protects a traveler’s eligibility to continue using the Visa Waiver program in the future, as long as the visitor does leave within the required additional period of stay.

Copyright © 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 111
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About this Author

Suzan Kern Immigration Lawyer Hunton Andrews Kurth
Counsel

Suzan’s practice focuses exclusively on immigration and nationality law.

Suzan represents businesses and individuals in administrative proceedings before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of State.

Suzan devotes more than 100 hours annually to pro bono work through direct representation and by mentoring other attorneys. She coordinates the Washington office’s signature pro bono project at the Montgomery County Family Justice Center in Rockville, Maryland, which helps victims of...

202 419 2075 direct
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